Europe without Facebook and Instagram?: Meta is considering closing its services in EU policy

European data protection regulations are a valuable asset in Germany and the European Union. This standard has not been relevant to the American technology company Meta for a long time. From The technology group’s annual report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission It is now clear that the company is considering shutting down some services in Europe.

It states, among other things: “If we are unable to transmit, process and/or receive data between the countries and regions in which we operate, or if we are prevented from transmitting data between our products and exchange services, this may affect the ability to to provide our services, […] which may adversely affect our financial results.”

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In the report, the Facebook group describes the problems it encountered in the European Union: the exchange of user data between meta servers in the European Union and the United States of America. Meta writes that the group relied on the EU-US Privacy Shield when transferring data from the EU to the US.

In the so-called Data Protection Agreement between the European Union and the United States, the use of data outside the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is regulated. However, in July 2020, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) declared this invalid.

[Exklusiv für Abonnenten: Aus Facebook wird Meta: Mark Zuckerberg – die Träume eines Skrupellosen]

At that time, the European Court of Justice decided that personal data may not be transferred to the USA without examining it. In concrete terms, this means that if the third-country personal data protection standard does not comply with the legal requirements of the European Union or cannot be guaranteed by other means, the data transfer should be suspended or prohibited in accordance with the ECJ.

Max Shrims vs Facebook

This was preceded by a complaint from Austrian data protection officer Max Schrams to the Irish data protection authority in 2014. As a result, the European Court of Justice ruled for the first time that the US data protection standard does not comply with EU standards. The USA is no longer considered a “safe haven” when it comes to data matters.

Referring to the revelations of former National Security Agency employee Edward Snowden, Shrims complained that US law and practice do not adequately protect data transferred to this country from surveillance activities by the authorities there, as he informed the European Court of Justice.

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